The Coastal Zone- The Maldives

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Background

Population: 300,000

Location: Islands off the south coast of India in the Indian Ocean.

Average island height: 1.5m, with 80% of land below 1m.

Why is it under threat?: Global warming causes ice to melt and the ocean temperature to rise and therefore expand. This means that, due to rising sea levels, scientists think the islands will be completely submerged within 50- 100 years.

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Impacts of Flooding

Economic: - Loss of tourism, if airport is cut off.

- Disrupted fishing industry, floods may damage fish plants, reducing their largest export.

Social: - Houses damaged or destroyed, communities left homeless.

- Less available freshwater, will have to rely on rainwater or build expensive desalination plants.

Environmental: - Loss of beaches, loss of habitats and exposes land to further flood damage.

- Loss of soil, shallow soil (20cm deep) will be washed away, preventing plant and crop growth.

Political: - Government asked Japan for $60m to build the capital city's (Male's) 3m high sea wall.

- Changes to environmental policies, government pledged to become carbon neutral, in order to reduce the contribution to global warming in the hope that other countries will also.

- Changes to long-term plans, government considering buying Indian land to move their inhabitats.

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